How to play Baccarat online
This is an easy-to-understand guide to playing Baccarat for beginners. Baccarat is one of the most popular tables games of all time, and even though there are many kinds of Baccarat online, the basic rules are almost always the same.
We hope that by the end of this short guide you will be able to know where to find Baccarat games online and be confident enough to try your hand!
What kind of game is Baccarat?
Baccarat is a table game played using playing cards. It can be played live, or online. Historically it was considered a game reserved by the aristocracy, and it still has a sense of class about it! In fact, Baccarat is often referred to as the ‘King of Casino Games’. These days, however, anyone can play Baccarat, even if you’re not secretly a Prince or a Princess!
Baccarat’s enduring popularity has made it one of our most popular table games at Vera&John online casino and at our Live Casino you can sit around a table with dealers and players from all over the world.
The Four basic rules of baccarat
There’s a general flow to play in Baccarat, and it helps to learn how that works before diving into any specific rules:
- Cards are dealt to the player and banker.
- The player bets on whether the player or the banker will win, lose, or draw.
- The player and the banker compare the number of cards in their hand, which can be two or three.
- The winner is the player with the card total closest to 9.
There’s a little more to it than that, but those four rules form the basis of an understanding of the game of Baccarat.
Mastering the art of online casino Baccarat
The way you count card values in Baccarat is quite unique to the game, but there’s no need to break your brain trying to calculate cards on the fly. The way it works is quite simple, if a little hard to wrap your head around at first.
Firstly, 10s are worthless, they count as zero. So, if your cards add up to, 15, say, what you’re actually left holding is 5 points.
Let’s say you’re dealt with a 7 and an 8.
7 + 8 = 15 → 5 points.
Each card is calculated according to the following rules. It’s important that you remember this, because this will help you to understand why you won (or how you lost!).
Cards valued 2-9
These cards are counted at face value. I.e., if you are dealt a 2 and a 7, the total is 9 points.
10s and Face Cards
10, J, Q, and K all count as 0 points.
I.e., 10 + 7 = 17 → 7 points.
Aces count as 1 point.
i.e., A + 6 = 7 → 7 points.
That’s all there is to it. If you find this all a bit daunting, that’s to be expected! The best thing you can do right now is to hop into the Live Casino game lobby and find a game of online Baccarat and observe for a while until you think you’ve grasped it and feel brave enough to jump in with both feet!
Baccarat’s third card.
If you recall, earlier we said Baccarat is played with hands of 2 or 3 cards. The decision as to when or if the third card will show up is down to chance and depends on the total of the first two cards. The rules around it are a little fiddly, but don’t worry about grasping them immediately! Once you have a feel for the basic game everything will slot into place.
Let’s look at some standard hand totals for players and bankers, and identify when a third card will be drawn:
If your hand totals:
8 or 9, or ‘Natural’
A third card is not drawn, and you could still win the game. When you draw an 8 or a 9 in the first two cards at Baccarat, this is known as a ‘natural’.
6 or 7, ‘Stand’
A third card is not drawn. Like in other card games when you want your hand to stay the same, i.e., you do not wish to draw another card, this is called a ‘stand’.
0 to 5, ‘Hit’
A third card is drawn. Like in other card games, when you draw an extra card to add to your hand, this is called a ‘hit’.
Bankers do things slightly different. Note the difference in ranges and actions from the players.
8 or 9, Natural
3 to 6, Hit, only if the player stands.
0 to 2, Hit.
On a 3 to 6 result, the banker hits when the player stands. But what if the player hits? Here’s what happens.
If the banker’s hand total is:
6 and the player’s third card is a 6 or 7 the banker hits, otherwise they stand.
5 and the player’s third card is a 4 to 7, the banker hits, otherwise they stand.
4 and the player’s third card is a 2 to 7, the banker hits, otherwise they stand.
3 they hit unless the player’s third card is an 8, otherwise they stand.
This may seem like a lot to take in, and it is! But after you’ve played a few hands, you’ll get used to the flow of the game and it will quickly become second nature. If you can master all the rules up until now, we’re sure you’ll be a dab hand at online casino baccarat in no time!
Using trends when playing Live Casino Baccarat
If you want to really look like a pro, you need to learn to use baccarat trends and the scoreboard. The scoreboard is a table made up of small squares with red and blue circles on it, which is used to record the history of the wins and losses during the current game session – the trends of the game.
The main trend is called the Bead Road, and it records the sequence of wins and losses. There are other trends, notably the Big Road, Big Eye Road, and others. These trends record the play history using slightly different notation and even some expert players have a hard time reading them!
In general, though the red circles represent the banker, and the blue circles represent the player. For example, if you see red, red, blue, red, then you know that the banker won the first two games (and the number in the circle will tell you what their score was) the player won the third, and the banker won the fourth.
But how to do you use trends in play? One way is to look at the sequence of wins and losses to check how often you’ve won vs the banker, so you can adjust your bets accordingly. Or, for instance, if you see that your games are generally very low scoring, you may want to start betting that your hand totals will score low. It’s up to you!
Types of online Baccarat
There are many versions and variations of online Baccarat, and you can play many of them right here at Vera&John. In fact, we think Vera&John is the best choice when it comes to different kinds of Baccarat.
Below are a few variations of online Baccarat that we recommend you try.
In regular Live Casino Baccarat the banker often takes their time to talk about the game while the croupier deals the card and collects the bets. However, in Speed Baccarat the game progresses at a much faster pace!
If you like a no-nonsense high-speed experience, then Speed Baccarat may be for you!
While Lightning Baccarat might look like an even more rapid-fire version of Baccarat, it’s not all that different from regular Baccarat. What makes it stand out is that Lightning Baccarat comes equipped with a Lightning Round that throws random multipliers into the mix!
If you want a version of Baccarat with potentially bigger, punchier payouts, then Lightning Baccarat hits the spot!
No Commission Baccarat
In normal Baccarat if you bet on the banker to win and they do, you will ordinarily be charged a small amount of commission. As the name implies, in No Commission Baccarat you aren’t charged commission on your wins when you bet on the Banker!
If the thought of dodging commission interests you, then we’re sure you’ll love No Commission Baccarat.
These three are just some of the variations on this enduringly popular table game, and there are so many others to try. Why not check out the live casino and find out what our Baccarat lobby has in store for you – and if you decide Baccarat’s not your thing, you’re just moments away from finding your new favourite table game at Vera&John online casino!